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CaSE 2022-23 Annual Review

11 Sep 2023

Welcome to our review of the year August 2022 – July 2023. This year has seen the CaSE team grow, our first in person Annual Lecture since the pandemic, and the publication of two major pieces of our work.

In this review we cover the main topics CaSE has worked on this year, you can find insights from our team members, and brief summaries of the events that made up our 2022-23. Please explore this page to find out more.

CaSE's main achievements this year

People and Skills:

Publishing ‘The Skills Opportunity’ report

Public Opinion:

Publishing our major public attitudes survey

Political Engagement:

Influencing direction of the new government department

Media and Communications:

A record year of media coverage, refreshing our brand and launching our new website


Ensuring value and impact for our members

Jump to:

A message from our Executive Director

CaSE has achieved real success this year, putting the public at the heart of our mission and ensuring the priorities of the UK science and engineering sector across the UK are represented at the highest levels of government.

This review highlights CaSE’s main achievements this year, and demonstrates how we have begun to deliver on the priorities of our 2022-27 strategy. CaSE has supported access and opportunity in research through our work on skills and immigration; published the largest study of public insights into research and shown how it can help us better engage the public; and shone a spotlight on the resources and systems science and engineering needs to deliver benefit, in terms of R&D investment, relationships with European research programmes, and the new structures of Government that support science at home.

CaSE has used its convening ability and its expert voice across the country and in the media to seed new collaborations and ideas and to harness the power of the diverse insights of our members. We will continue to work collectively as we enter a General Election year, in which our aim is to combine our policy expertise and public insights to bring greater relevance and impact to the case for the nation’s leaders to put science and engineering at the heart of the UK’s future.

I want to thank all CaSE’s members, collaborators, and, in particular, the people in the CaSE team for helping to achieve the successes highlighted in this review. I look forward to the year ahead.

Prof Sarah Main
Executive Director

A message from our Chair

I want to congratulate the CaSE team and the trustees for their hard work over the past 12 months. It was fantastic to see the publication of the major survey of public attitudes from the Discovery Decade programme. It has highlighted the valuable insights to be gained from engaging the public, and offers a promising direction for CaSE’s future work. Equally, the exploration of the skills needs of the UK, conducted by the team, demonstrates the valuable impact CaSE can have on issues that affect the whole sector. This work comes at a time when science and engineering is increasingly important in helping improve the lives and livelihoods of people in the UK.

I am grateful to our board members for their considered opinions and expert knowledge. This year only one board member has stepped down; I’d like to thank Sir Ian Boyd for his hard work and valuable contributions to CaSE. I look forward to welcoming new members to the Board in the coming year.

Dr Bob Sorrell
Chair of Trustees

People and Skills

The science base is as strong as the people in it

Attracting and developing diverse R&D talent and skills is essential if the UK is to become a more research-intensive economy. It is also important to create a more open, diverse and inclusive research workforce. We work with our members and the R&D community to develop policy recommendations that will help ensure the UK has a diverse and talented skills base to meet the requirements of an R&D-intensive economy. This includes work on primary education, further and higher education, diversity and immigration. Here are some highlights of our work in this area from the last year:

The Skills Opportunity

Creating a high skill and innovative economy is crucial to driving the UK’s future economic prosperity, with science, research and innovation central to this. Research and innovation can help solve global challenges, create new careers, and generate world-changing technologies.

In June 2023 we published ‘The Skills Opportunity’, a report as part of our project looking at the skills needs of a more research intensive UK. Ensuring that the UK has the skills to meet the requirements of a more R&D-intensive economy is a vital component of the UK Government’s ambitions to make the UK more research-intensive. Wider skills provision will be needed to meet the requirements of an expanding R&D sector, and ensure that everyone can participate in and benefit from a more innovative UK.

The project took a holistic look at skills policy across Government, from science teaching in schools and STEM careers advice, through to higher and further education, apprenticeships, lifelong learning, and immigration.

It examined the needs and requirements across the skills landscape, to identify some of the cross-cutting challenges and pinch points, which we highlight in our report.  Our report concludes that the UK Government and devolved administrations must coordinate and support an integrated skills system to deliver a more innovative and research intensive UK.

During the project we conducted a series of roundtables with stakeholders across the research and innovation landscape to explore different areas of skills provision, culminating in a Skills Policy workshop at which CaSE members came together at Diamond Light Source to discuss our recent work and help form the conclusions of the final report.

This year we published our report, The Skills Opportunity, which sets out how to unlock the skills needed for a more R&D-led UK. It demonstrates that the ambition to make the UK more research and innovation intensive can’t be met without an ambitious people strategy to match.

In the report, we call for the Government and devolved nations to coordinate and support an integrated skills system. We make recommendations across four areas:

  • Understanding and prioritising skills gaps and needs
  • Providing broader incentives and support for employers and individuals
  • Supporting local talent and innovation
  • An immigration system that attracts international talent

As a team we are and have been engaging with the Government and the R&D sector on the findings and recommendations.

Dr Daniel Rathbone
Deputy Executive Director


Another recurring topic of the last year has been the immigration of skilled workers to the UK. CaSE has long advocated for an approach that allows the UK to capitalise the pool of international talent that want to come and contribute to the UK’s R&D sector. As well as highlighting ways that can be achieved in our Report The Skills Opportunity, we have also responded to and analysed various other developments such as the Governments increase to visa fees and the contribution of international students to the UK economy, and restrictions on bringing dependants with them to the UK.

Public Opinion

Making R&D matter to more people

CaSE’s Discovery Decade project is helping R&D organisations and advocates to connect with a broader base of public supporters. We are creating a space for those championing R&D to work together and articulate a clear and compelling vision of a future with R&D at its heart. To support this process, we’re delivering new public opinion data and inspiring campaign concepts. Here is how the project has progress this year:

Researching Public Attitudes to R&D

Over the course of 2022 and 2023, CaSE worked with the research agency Public First to carry out a major study of public attitudes to R&D. This comprised four nationally-representative surveys, polling a total of 18,000 people and anchored by a landmark survey of 8,000 people in July 2022, coupled to 14 focus groups with people from across the UK.

At the end of February 2023 we published the full dataset which can be explored on CaSE’s website and is designed as a reference resource for advocates across the R&D sector. We have made all of the data open access and invite others to help us analyse the findings and debate the implications.

Our research found that R&D is seen as important – 70% of people said it was important for the Government to invest in R&D – but not urgent, with many struggling to see how R&D benefits them, their loved ones or their communities. We found that making stronger connections to the purpose of R&D and the place it is happening are vital in effective messaging that will reach more people. We discuss the major trends we saw, and summarise the key findings, in our Eight Key Trends report.

Summarising our findings

Our work has generated a huge amount of data and information. To make it easier for R&D advocates to find the most relevant insights, we have produced a series of one page briefings. These cover the key findings for different actors involved in funding or carrying out R&D, the main topics of concern for the public, and how attitudes differ depending on audience demographics.

It’s been a crucial year for the Discovery Decade programme, with the team focussed on collecting and publishing our data on public perceptions to R&D.

Reassuringly, our big launch event in February was met with a hugely positive response from across the R&D sector, demonstrating a real appetite to understand our public audiences better and hone our advocacy.

There is plenty of work ahead, as we focus on translating that data into practical advocacy tools and guidance, including a series of campaign prototyping workshops across the UK to explore how we can give R&D a stronger identity at a local level. But we’re working in concert with an extremely supportive sector, putting wind in our sails for the year ahead.

Dr Ben Bleasdale
Director of the Discovery Decade

Collating Best Practice in Public Engagement

Alongside the survey findings, we hosted a series of workshops to speak directly to experts who engage with public audiences day-in, day-out. We wanted to collate sources of inspiration, highlight effective messages and messengers, and pinpoint what’s working and what’s challenging.

Over the course of the year we published a report for each workshop, including recommendations that emerged to help advocates across the R&D sector to learn from colleagues in other areas.

Campaign Prototypes

Putting our data in action, we have been with groups of stakeholders in different parts of the UK to translate the public opinion data into a bespoke messaging strategy for their area. Supported by the creative agency Luna 9, we have been able to support stakeholders to articulate a clear and compelling vision for R&D in their area, and then bring this to life through illustrative campaign assets.

Gathering evidence on the public’s attitudes to R&D has formed a major part of the Discovery Decade project this year. It’s been fascinating finding out what people think and feel about R&D, and our results have thrown up a lot of opportunities as well as many challenges for the sector to overcome. To help digest the data, we’ve brought together these views into a series of briefings and reports, all of which are published on our website.

CaSE is committed to building on this audience research and over the next year we plan to run a more in-depth public dialogue exercise. This will dig into what it would mean for a broader audience to feel they have a stake in the UK’s research system and consider how the public and the sector can co-create a vision to help reach that goal.

Dr Rebecca Hill
Advocacy and Engagement Officer

Political Engagement

We work with our members and the R&D community to develop clear recommendations for Government and other policy makers to ensure that science and engineering can flourish.

We engage with the full range of political decision-makers at national, devolved and local levels. This includes responding to consultations, writing letters to MPs and contributing our voice through the media. Here are the topics and events that made up most of our political engagement last year:

The Science and Technology Framework

In March the Government’s new Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT) set out their Science and Technology Framework, which it calls its “plan to cement the UK as a global science & technology superpower by 2030”. It contains a number of things CaSE have been calling for and recommended over the last several years. Our policy team took a look at each part of the framework in an analysis piece following the announcement. Seeing so many of CaSE’s recommendations throughout the Framework shows the impact we and our members are able to have in shaping the direction of Government policy.

CaSE works across the UK and engages with policymakers to input our members’ views and influence on issues affecting the science and engineering sector.

We have continued working with the entire R&D sector to push for political commitments on public R&D spending. Notably, CaSE worked with the media to highlight the sector’s concerns following the surrender to Treasury of £1.6bn of funding that had previously been allocated to R&D. Following the publication of the Windsor Framework CaSE added its name to a cross-sector statement alongside 14 other organisations urging for finalisation of association to Horizon Europe and continue to push for association as soon as possible. We were also pleased to see the creation of a new Department for Science Innovation and Technology as well as the Science and Technology Framework, which reflects a lot of what CaSE has been calling for over a number of years.

Dr Camilla d'Angelo
Policy Officer

The surrender of £1.6bn

One of CaSE’s roles is to provide scrutiny of political decisions and movements that impact the R&D sector. In February we broke the news that £1.6 billion of funding, that had been allocated to EU research programme association had been returned by the then science department (Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)) to the Treasury. This move was in opposition to previous Governmental and ministerial commitments on science funding, and in stark contrast to the positive messages we were otherwise hearing. Following CaSE’s spotlight on the issue, there was heightened pressure on Government form across the sector, both for finalising association with EU research programmes, and for the promised protection of science funding.

Horizon Europe Association

A recurring issue for CaSE over the last few years has been the UK’s association to European Union (EU) research programmes. This last year has been no exception. Our members and stakeholders have repeatedly and clearly told us that association with the flagship Horizon Europe programme, and other more targeted schemes, is still the preferred and best outcome for UK science. There has been sustained media interest in the issue and numerous developments over the last 12 months which we have provided comment on as well as providing scrutiny of the Governments proposed alternative, Pioneer.

Media Engagement and Communications

Our New Website and Branding

To coincide with the launch of CaSE’s major public attitudes research we took the opportunity to refresh our branding and update to a new website. The goal was to have a platform capable of hosting all of the data and analysis from our public opinion work, as well as all of our other reports and content in as easy to use way.

This project required input from across the CaSE team and presented an excellent opportunity to scrutinise the way we produce content. The end result is a website and system that lets the team produce engaging reports and detailed analysis that can have real impact with stakeholders.

For a small charity we consistently punch above our weight and achieve huge impact. In the last year we have seen major media coverage of our takes on developing stories, and regularly work with some of the country’s top journalists to help them cover important science policy issues.

As a campaigning organisation, our ability to engage our stakeholders and communicate with our desired audiences is a core part of all of the work we do. Our membership gives us an incredibly privileged position from which to speak with authority on the issues that matter most, and to get our message in front of the right people.

We have enjoyed many successes in the last 12 months, and the next year seems set to provide us with many more opportunities to make the case for science and engineering in the UK

Andy Hawkes
Communications Manager

Appearances in the Media

One of the key avenues of communication for CaSE is through the news media. In the last year we have worked consistently with major national outlets such as the BBC, Financial Times, and The Times, we have also worked very productively with R&D trade publications, notably Research Fortnight.

Members of the CaSE team have made at least 92 appearances in the national news media, including 5 open editorials and letters written by our staff, as well as an interview on national radio.

Social Media Impact

In the last year CaSE has worked to maintain an active social media presence and engage widely across our stakeholder groups. In particular we have worked to grow our LinkedIn following from the low hundreds to over a thousand followers in the space of the year. Beyond our usual engagement we have had a few standout successes. Twitter posts regarding our Discovery Decade data launch and the £1.6bn of funding returned to the treasury reached 45 thousand views respectively, our Skills Opportunity Report launch reached 30 thousand views, and a post sharing our letter to The Times on Immigration costs has currently been seen nearly 180 thousand times.

Using Our Expert Voice

As a UK wide organisation we work hard to ensure that we engage with members and other stakeholders from around the country. As such, this year we have attended events at the devolved parliaments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, as well as numerous other engagements across the whole of the UK.

Over the last year CaSE staff have been regularly invited to offer their insight at panel events and speaking engagements. These include sessions hosted by the Institute of Physics, Imperial College London, the National Foundation for Education Research, and the Knowledge Quarter, as well as attending and speaking at events such as; the opening of a new GSK campus, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Global Women’s Breakfast, and the Royal Society pairing scheme reception. Our team have also held a significant number of individual meetings with members and collaborators, and contributed their expertise to consultations and advisory groups for many of those organisations.

CaSE has responded to Parliamentary inquiries and consultations on a number of topics, including the Lord’s S&T Committee inquiry on people and skills in UK science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and the EngineeringUK inquiry led by Lord Knight and Lord Willetts, ‘Fit for the future: Growing and sustaining engineering and technology apprenticeships for young people’.

Annual Lecture

This year’s CaSE Annual Lecture was given by Kim Shillinglaw, the chair of CaSE’s Discovery Decade project. We were thrilled to be hosted by the University of Westminster in their Regents Street Cinema, and extremely grateful for the sponsorship of Elsevier and Advanced Research Clusters (ARC).

In her lecture Kim explored how the UK can forge a deeper and broader public connection with research and innovation. Kim drew on her work as Chair of CaSE’s Discovery Decade project, and her 30 years of experience across the media industry running commercial companies for EndemolShine, as Controller of BBC2 and BBC4, and as Head of Commissioning for Science and Natural History.

Kim emphasised the need to bring the public along on Britain’s journey to becoming a science-positive, R&D-intensive, innovation-focused nation and how this would help attract the growing science-qualified workforce that would be needed, and ensure that R&D was more secure as a political priority. Kim also urged advocates to work together to show that R&D investment translates into real world benefits for real people, and give people a sense of agency in the major political and economic choice facing the nation.

The lecture was attended by over 150 people online and in person. It was an excellent opportunity to talk to members and stakeholders about CaSE Discovery Decade project and showcase our work in this space.


Firstly, I’d like to say a big thank you to all of CaSE’s members, we’ve had an exciting year of activities, all made possible through your support, time and engagement. And we continue to be joined by new and exciting organisations that keep growing the diversity of the CaSE network.

CaSE’s ability is bringing together diverse sets of organisations to discuss and engage on cross cutting challenges has always been a unique strength, the importance of which has been reinforced across CaSE’s recent work engaging with policy makers, who’ve actively asked for CaSE to bring together different groups they want to hear more from.

As we work to deliver CaSE’s 2022-29 strategy, I’m excited for the opportunities to engage and grow CaSE’s membership, as we continue to be a diverse home for organisations looking to put science and engineering at the heart of the UK economy.

Henry Gates
Director of Sector Engagement

Organisational Members

CaSE’s independence and expertise comes from being funded by a membership of over 100 organisations. Our members are part of a dedicated collective, working to ensure that the UK has world-leading research and education, skilled scientists and engineers, and innovative businesses. Working hard for our members We would like to thank our individual members for their generous support over the past year, allowing us to retain our independence and continue campaigning for a thriving science and engineering environment in the UK. Individual members receive event invitations, regular updates on our work, and opportunities to engage. You can also make a one-off donation.

Our organisational members have opportunities to influence our messaging and gain policy insight through exclusive events, consultations, surveys, reports and meetings. Members also enjoy priority booking at our public events, including the Annual Lecture, and the opportunity to partner with us on relevant work, such as co-authoring reports, sponsoring or hosting events.

Individual Members

We would like to thank our individual members for their generous support over the past year, allowing us to retain our independence and continue campaigning for a thriving science and engineering environment in the UK. Individual members receive event invitations, regular updates on our work, and opportunities to engage. You can also make a one-off donation.

Who are our Members?

UK science and engineering is a rich ecosystem from across the private, public and third sector. We are proud to count 114 of these organisations in the CaSE membership, including businesses, universities, colleges, research institutes, professional bodies, public engagement centres, trade unions, venture capital firms, and research charities.

Universities and Institutions

Our academic members include universities from across the UK as well as centres of research excellence


The charities in our membership are some of the biggest research focused charities in the UK


Our industry members cover the breadth of research and innovation landscape in the UK

Learned & Professional Societies

Along with a wide range of learned and professional societies, we have a number of public engagement centres in our membership.

Our Organisation


CaSE’s financial year runs from April to March, as such this section of the Annual Review addresses April 2022-March 2023. CaSE continues to be a financially resilient organisation that effectively manages its resources.

Our income from membership and sponsorship was £350,829. In May 2021 we were awarded a grant of more than £1m by Wellcome to fund the three-year Discovery Decade project. In 2022-23, £488,960 of the grant was used to cover the staffing and activity costs of the Discovery Decade project. CaSE’s total expenditure was £829,203.


Continuing the trend from the end of 2021/22 review period, CaSE has grown further as an organisation, welcoming Andy Hawkes into the role of Communications Manager, and Nesh Ismail as Office Manager. This year also saw promotions and job title changes for existing staff members, Henry Gates is now CaSE’s Director of Sector Engagement, and Daniel Rathbone is now Deputy Executive Director. With all major roles now filled by permanent members of staff CaSE is in an excellent position to work on our priorities and execute our strategy.


There were no new additions to the CaSE Board this year, however Prof Sir Ian Boyd stood down from the Board, we thank him for his hard work and commitment to CaSE. The process to fill our vacant Board positions is underway.

There is no better indicator of a charity’s worth than the people who volunteer their time and energy to help guide and run it. Our board of trustees is made up of accomplished professionals from the science and humanities fields, with great diversity of expertise and experience. It has been a pleasure to work with them in the last year as they have helped shape the vision and direction of CaSE.

As an organisation we are committed to maintaining a board that represents the whole research sector, and all those who work within it.

Nesh Ismail
Office Manager

Ambitions for 2023-24

Our ambitions for a year building up to a General Election

We want science and engineering to have its voice heard in public discourse, ensuring that political ambitions for the sector are matched by effective policy making, something which is more important than ever in the build up to a General Election.

As our 2022-29 strategy sets out, we will collaborate with our members, partners and the public to lend our clear, expert voice to decisions about science and engineering. By offering responsive and non-partisan solutions, we aim to help research and innovation thrive in a way that improves people’s lives and livelihoods.


CaSE is aiming to deliver a stronger UK R&D system. Building on previous work, we will explore the  environment needed for business R&D to thrive in the UK.

Public Opinion

Building on the success of our Discovery Decade programme, CaSE is assembling a coalition of funders to expand our public opinion activities for the General Election and beyond.

Political Engagment

A General Election offers huge opportunity to help shape policy and put the issues we care about at the top of the agenda. We will advocate for the UK’s association with Horizon Europe, skills policies that boost R&D in the UK, and on many other issues.


CaSE’s strength comes from our members, we will continue to put their voices at the heart of policy discussions and bring their diverse expertise into all aspects of our advocacy.